Virgin Mary Weeps

Picture 131

After seeing a story that believers sighted the Virgin Mary statue in Ireland weeping, I again wonder – what is the place in the post-post Vatican II church for such miracles?  And where do I fit on the macro scale of Catholicism?

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, it’s hard for me to consider myself a progressive Catholic.  This is partially because I am very old-fashioned about rituals and holy matter.  Part of me even likes Mass in Latin – except for the not integrating community part.  Socially, I subscribe to a lot of tenets that progressive Catholics hold dear.

I actually think that medieval Catholic thinkers had a lot more figured out about gender, sexuality, and identity than us modern or post-modern Catholics.  Medieval Catholics did not shy away from writing about Heaven as a sexual experience that is well within Church theology.

I think many modern or progressive minded Catholics have gotten all rational Muslim over our asses (God bless rational Muslims, God bless progressive minded Catholics).  In playing down central tenets of Catholic faith and Catholic folk life – Virgin Mary tears (you mean it’s not just about sexism?), transubstantiation (no, it doesn’t just mean community! Although community is good!), apparitions, blood relics,

Oh, the blood relics – as just trappings and baggage that have held the Church down.

As we look for new metaphors to express our frustrations with the Church, let’s not knock conservative Catholics or so-called conservative practices.  Because then we get into this mind warp of thinking like secular folks – oh, the only way to be is progressive Catholic.  And this can get in the way of dealing with other religions, especially Islam, because progressive Catholics tend to romanticize progressive Muslims as the “right” way to be.

And yes, medieval Catholics had those rather big problems with Islamophobia and crusades.  But really, progressive Catholic community, are we any better?

2 thoughts on “Virgin Mary Weeps

  1. Amen, though I might shy away from the association between these still modern practices (people still venerate relics), and “Medieval” Catholicism. I can see the distinction you want to make (and the sort of “reaching out towards” that you want to encourage), but you still seem to implicitly connect the ideas together. If people, who are our age, are thinking about miracles, or venerating relics, or making pilgrimages, then I would suggest that these aren’t “Medieval” practices at all. Whether they are “conservative” practices is still up in the air-we’re all Catholics. This is part of our heritage. Why do we make the distinction?

  2. I know exactly what you mean Theodora! Just because we have forward thinking interpretations of the Faith doesn’t mean that we just discard all of the Church’s traditions and rituals just because they might be “obstacles” to having a real relationsihp with God. In fact, I think things like Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, veneration of the Saints, etc, enhance our Faith, as the Church has always taught.

    In fact, why can’t we use these traditional venues of devotion for our advantage. For example, perhaps organizing Rosary groups for women’s ordination and the enlightenment of the clergy on the moral validity of homosexuality? Having a healthy respect and esteem for the past in the life in the Church can only futher contribute to us building its future!

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